Archive for experience

Six Months

I have a call with my adviser on Friday. I’ve been working for the last week trying to sort through the last six months and figure out what I was dreaming of and where to go from here. I recognize that one of my most fundamental mistakes was to go it alone.


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Growing The Future

I’ve been thinking about how exactly I’ve done what I’ve done since this is an idea no one else has had yet. I am 99.999% sure of that, and so it’s weird to think I might change the course of history. It’s how I imagine Einstein felt when the last equations clicked together for the atomic bomb.

I still think it sounds sorta crazy to talk as though I know it will work, but I really think it will. If it doesn’t I will really be shaken up. This is the dream of no more starvation and if we do lose this battle then I’ll still not give up the war. (This really should be the last push though. We have to hit world peace sometime, and I think this may be it.)

As to how it happened though. I just thought over and over about the people starving in Africa. I just wrote a backwards science fiction story until I could connect the world we live in to that one. The trick is to not think of systems that are fair in the moment, but to look for ones that trend toward fairness.

It’s like starting a tree at the leaves, and I’m digging the holes to stick the roots into now.


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Cowboy Mouth

I went to see Cowboy Mouth again tonight. I think I want to write them a letter and ask them some questions. I’ve been thinking about what that would look like…

Dear Fred,

I went to see your concert tonight and I really enjoyed it. This was my fourth show over the course of almost ten years and every one of them can only be described as cathartic. It’s like pressure washing brain — intense and wild while it’s going on, and leaves me cleaner at the end.

As I was watching tonight, I was wondering about how you feel about your job. Every single time I have seen you, you have been going at it with what seemed like 100% of what you could put into the show. You opened by saying, “I’m here to see that you have a good time and I’m also here to see that I have a good time.” I liked that.

Can you do it successfully though? Do you ever just not want to go out on stage, but you have to because someone is paying you to do it. Is performing ever just a job?

I ask in part because I’m at a point (just turned 30) where I’m trying to find something to do that isn’t just a job. It seems like most everyone’s job is a bore part of the time though, so maybe my expectations are set too high. You talk a lot about being present and giving it your all, and it seems like a person who believes that way wouldn’t put up with much bullshit in their job. You certainly seem enthusiastic.

I hope that you don’t find the question insulting in any way. It’s just that I’ve asked probably 15 people, “What is your ideal way to spend your time?” No one has said, “What I’m doing now.” Almost everyone seems to want to be somewhere other than where they are. I know I sometimes only show up at the office to pay the bills. I’m only asking you if you really like your job 100% of the time because while you were on that stage, it seemed like maybe you do.

In any case, great concert. I felt like the Wildhorse was a big too big on a Thursday night to get the crowd as packed in proper, but still, as always, a good performance.


P.S. Does the star tattoo on your wrist mean anything special to you?

I can’t find any way to send them a message though on their website. That’s disappointing.

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Jenni and I are going to be in India for the spring festival: Holi. Everyone goes around slinging dyes of various colors at each other.

I was talking to an Indian girl this weekend and she said that a big part of the fun is “it’s an opportunity for the boys to touch the girls.”

The guidebook also mentions that the festival coincides with the local marijuana harvest. They warn the careful tourist to only buy from vendors seen selling to women and children lest they ingest something specious.

So, wandering fucked up through a massive sex-laden two day spiritual cleansing dye fight. Sounds like a hell of a good time.

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Talk To The Spidermaker

So, on the subject of creepiness, I awoke this morning to find that during the night I had written on the pad beside my bed:

Go to the Spidermaker if you have any questions.

Not quite sure who the Spidermaker is or exactly the types of questions that he or she might answer given the chance. I’m also not entirely clear on how to contact this entity since my biggest question at this point is, “who the hell is the Spidermaker?”

I suppose a bit of backstory is in order…

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Trolling The Habitat

I spent Sunday out at Timberwood, the housing development being constructed by Nashville’s chapter of Habitat for Humanity.

The build time for the entire project is four weekends. For the Methodist’s site, on Friday there was a concrete slab, and by the time I left on Sunday there was a house with a roof. Granted the roof isn’t shingled and there’s no siding on the house, but it was still an impressive amount of progress for two days.

One of the things that struck me as I was working is, if I were a single 30-something woman, I’d do all my trolling for mates at Habitat builds. The place was crawling with middle aged do-gooder handymen types. I talked to a couple architects, an accountant, and two software developers. Professional guys who, much like myself, are looking to get out of the office on the weekend and build something substantial.

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Lesson for the day: time waits for no man, sale this also holds true for the Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority.

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Paganism Today

I hauled myself out of bed this morning and headed to Pagan Pride Day.

The event is interesting because much of it is structured using the metaphor of “coming out of the broom closet.” Many of the people there have been exploring paganism in their private lives for a while, but keep this part of their lives secret from their friends, families and coworkers.

The event opened with everyone standing in a big circle probably 20 feet across. Five of the people standing roughly equally spaced around the circle said parts of a welcoming speech and as they did they tossed a big ball of yarn around. The order that they used made a big star in the middle of the circle. Then they passed the ball to each of the people around the outside, and as they did each person said what in their path brought them to this place.

The people ran the gamut from the well experienced to “solitary” people for whom this was their first public gathering to spouses to simple tourists like myself. It was surprising to see that there were at least ten percent of the people for whom this was a real coming out. This was the first time for them to publicly let other people know that they’re pagan. I can only imagine how exciting that was.

I was really curious and I talked to a couple different people about how exactly paganism fits into their lives. One of the most interesting was an ex-Baptist minister who told me that for fifteen years every morning he wakes up and ask God to use him as a tool in his work that day, each evening he spends in prayer of thanksgiving for God using him that day.

I understand the Baptists and I understand generally the context of how a Baptist would expect that prayer to be answered. Becoming a pagan is decidedly not what the average Baptist would expect God to want them to do. I asked him about it and he said he’s at a place in his life where he can’t explain why God wants what God wants, his job is just to do it.

I’m reminded of a quotation from Rilke:

I would like to beg you dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.

At this point in my life I can only really stand in awe of a faith like that.

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Finding God

I discovered what I needed to help me find religion. Forget about the Methodists and Unitarians, apoplectic about ten minutes into the aerobics class I went to tonight I was praying fervently for either myself or the instructor to drop dead, I was in sufficient pain to not really care which.

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No Mas Límones

The week of 1,000 lemons will be drawing to a close in a mere hour and a half now. Jenni and I spent a good hour wandering the isles of the Whole Foods picking out epicurean delights to fill our tomorrow.

One would think that the cost of the extravagance of our foodstuffs would be offset by the Spartan nature of our diet for the last week, but that turns out to not be the case. One of the three ingredients in the master cleanse, maple syrup, ran $40 for the half gallon we consumed. Lemons, at 50¢ apiece, we consumed 50 of. So all in all, not eating was about $12 a day. Not too shabby for two people, but far pricier than Ramen and potatoes.

I asked Jenni if she had learned any important lessons and she feels she now has a much better sense of just what her hunger feels like. She says it peaked around the second day and hasn’t really gotten worse sense.

For my part, the way she deals with food boggles me. She laid around the house watching the Food Network for most of the day. In the way some people would discuss the subtlety of a good book or the bouquet of a fine wine, she lays about all day contemplating eating things.

Myself, I spend most of the day not thinking about food at all. After about a minute and a half of watching mozzarella folded into phyllo dough, I’m famished. Well, I definitely want to eat. I think if anything I have a far worse understanding of my hunger than when I began.

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